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Discus in Planted tanks

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by eddtango, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. JaSa

    JaSa Lifetime Charter Member
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    This site by Geir Rolfsnes, http://home.online.no/~grolfsne/index.html, is dedicated to a planted Discus-tank. It is in norwegian, but contains a couple of nice pictures (inside Mitt akvarium) and a few links. For those who understand the language the site contains much information on how he succeeded with his project. It also contains an amusing story from two "wars" against algae (BGA/Cyano).
    ---
    Jarle
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    That is nice site.
    Heiko's book does the best job in English.
    If you are serious about them and want a good book, that is about the best there is.

    But adding things to artifical environments that most discus keepers tend to be entirely ignorant on makes for a lot of problems with advice.
    Misapplication of advice is a large source for issues as well.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Heckel Discus

    I'm planning to get Heckels but I'm not decided yet whether to put substrate or just leave the bottom bare, I have driftwood w/ Java fern already in the tank. Considering that it is wild caught , are Heckels more delicate than other types of Discus ?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Not that I am aware of.
    They should be fairly similar.

    Feed, quarantine well, deworm them, read Jack's article on some parasites in TFH etc(last month?), get them in really good shape. You can use a nice white sand or not, up to you.

    That would look good with Java and wood.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Discus

    How about pool filter sand? Is it hard to clean? I think its similar to the bright sand of ADA.
     
  6. nursie

    nursie Lifetime Members
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    I use pool filter sand in my tanks mixed with fluorite. I find it to be cleaner that either construction sand or play sand. I tried some left over construction sand once in a 15 gallon and am still paying for that mistake. It is far dirtier than pool filter sand. I put it in and started the filter up and had a clear tank in a day or so.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sand blasting sand is what many use here in CA, Lapid lustar 30 grit etc
    Perfect 2-3mm grain size.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Discus

    Is it alright to mix juvenile Wild Heckels with mature Angelfish? loaches?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have an aversion to it personally, but that's just me.
    1 large fish group per tank.

    Too many large fish types, starts looking more like a zoo, not like something one might see or think of in a natural setting.

    Stick with one or the other, not both.
    You can still have lots of species but things like plecos,
    Various small schooling fish, Apistos etc, things that are more suitable and make a nicer community and look in the tank.

    Once you buy a group of fish, few aquarist will remove them if they do not really fit in their tank the way they'd hoped.

    So give this a lot of thought, more than about anything else.
    The hardscape, the placement in the home and fish choices are the hardest.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Discus

    Will the Seachem Equilibrium (GH booster) that I add to my planted tank affect my Discus? I understand that they prefer soft water.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, "soft water" is a bit misleading.

    GH and KH are different and plants and fish likely, near as anyone can tell are similar.
    So it's namely KH, not GH that influences things in FW systems.

    Maybe folks add liberal amounts of GH to their Discus tanks, they get better color, better plant health etc.

    10 degrees and some very nice breeding discus with great color and health.

    So while in general and from say natural environments, soft water might be the general notion, the specifics are another story.

    Also, just because something is found in a certain environment in nature, does not imply that is the best way to raise the fish, cow, chicken, dog, lamb, sheep, hog, wheat, rice etc in a controlled environment.

    Otherwise agriculture and horticulture would be based solely on natural system, but they are not, not even close. We get much higher and better production with agriculture than we do from natural systems.

    Basing a program based solely on nature is not always the best approach, but many in this hobby are led to believe this, discus folks are certainly not above the fray anymore than reef folks or plant folks.

    You have to try things and see.
    Then you'll know.

    But few do, so they keep playing it safe rather than exploring what works, what does not etc.

    You cannot learn about new things unless, well, you try new things:)
    Often such things are inadvertent and you notice it later after you made a mistake. Then you go back and do it on purpose and make sure it was not some other interaction.

    Unfortunately, few do this in the hobby.
    I often wonder about breeders that do not try new things, they have an ample supply of culls available after all.

    Use those as the guinea pigs in the test.
    Most of my Discus where originally culls, I raised them up, did not care much about what was said in the past, fed them right, they grew up and looked great, bred many times and where sold for 400$ for 5. Not bad for 3" culls that I paid 5$ each for. GH= 9, Temp = 80-82F, KH= 5.5, weekly 50-70% water change, MH's(see the avartar) and high light, high CO2, EI dosing etc.

    Most things that Discus advise against.
    That was about 12 years ago.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    pH

    Thanks for the good advice. My tank's pH is 7.4 when the lights are CO2 are off but goes down to 6.4-6.6 when the lights & CO2 are on. I read on some article that Discus don't like pH swings,how do I avoid the big pH swings ?

    One of my tanks has a KH below 20mg/L, what do I add to effectively buffer the water? How can I increase KH? Do I add Seachem's Alkaline buffer?
     
  13. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

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    Discus with plants

    Tom you are correct. I have raised my discus from 2.5 inch to their full grown 6 to 8 inch size in a 90 gal planted tank. Kept kh and gh around 5 with co2. I didn't do ei because I didn't know about it. But I did 30 g wc 3 times a week to eliminate the hormones in the water. Alway kept temp at 84 and fed then 2 to 3 times a day. Morning frozen mysis shrimp, algea wafers frozen blood worms and at night live black worms. My breeder ( gabe from jack whitely) taught me that they only need soft water only for breeding and hatching the eggs. They actually grow bigger in hard water.

    And yes for the most part they are very hardy fish. I've learned how to cure them with metro and high water temp 90f. But they do perfect in a planted tank. Biggest issue is that most lfs and people don't bother with multiple wc a week.

    Now that they are grown I do 1 a week wc

    Just like with a baby or puppy they require more love when young.
     
  14. Aquaholic

    Aquaholic Junior Poster

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    Hey guys,
    This is my first post, and I am very new to this lifestyle...
    First of all I would like to say Thanks for all of the great info on this site. You guys have kept me up for hours on end learning all about home aquariums.
    I just set up my 45gal planted tank, 3 weeks ago, and just introduced 3 discus 2 days ago. I have one 2.5inch and two 1.5inch Discus. I cycled the tank using 30gal of distilled water and syphoned water from my daughters 7 month old 10gal goldfish/shrimp/planted tank. Upon purchasing my Discus from my LFS (Just learned about their existance two weeks ago), I asked the worker about their feeding habits, illnesses, medication, quarantine, temp, pH, water changes, appetite, etc... She gave me all of the info I wanted to hear. I even noticed spots on them, as shown in pics, but she assured me that it was nothing and would go away with water changes (what did I know?). I trusted her and purchased 3 for my birthday.
    I poured them into a bucket with my LFS tank water for 20mins, while slowly introducing my tank water into the bucket. Then I hand picked them up, one-by-one, by hand and placed them into my tank. They all hide underneath my driftwood. I turned the lights off and did not feed them until the next day. When I fed them, 2 out of the 3 Discus ate the food (Frozen Blood worms). The 1.5inch, with the most spots on its face, did not eat (in my presence) till this day. I'm guessing that my Discus have Hole in the Head disease...
    I did some research and everyone said that it must be treated ASAP, to prevent irreversible damage. I took Htomassini's advice and bought some Metro. I just applied the first dose. The directions on the box says to apply first dose and wait 48hrs before second dose. Then wait 48hrs and do a 25% PWC (which differs from advice above). I decided to be safe and follow API's instructions for their product (No offense, just not experienced enough to stray too far).
    Please view pictures (I hope they posted)... I am not sure if my Discus are infected, yet I did not want to take too long to treat. I also noticed white poop from my 2.5inch Discus.
    Please help.

    Are my Discus really infected with Hole in the Head?

    Am I doing the right thing by treating them all?
    (I am using API's Pro series GENERAL CURE; Anti-Parasitic fish medication)


    Thank you all for your time and consideration.

    Warm Regards,
    ~Aquaholic~
     
    #34 Aquaholic, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2011
  15. Aquaholic

    Aquaholic Junior Poster

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    Sorry I do not know how to post pictures...
    I tried using the image and attachment icons within the reply box, yet no success.
    Please let me know how, and I will post pics.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If the cause for small size is hormones, then simply adding activated carbon once a month would remove this.
    This should do even better than water changes since it would keep the levels much lower.

    So that would be a simply test method if anyone wanted to really answer that question rather than spouting off:p
    But most like to spout off rather than test something much like water changes...........it seems they think it is easier to haggle with me over a water change, when the irony is it would take them less time to do a simply 50% WC than the reply to my post:)

    I'm not entirely certain what a water change does or does not do..............but I know they know even less than I.
     
  17. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    The easiest way for me is upload your image to an image hosting website.
    THen copy the URL of the image.

    Then when you're posting, click the Image icon in the tool bars.
    Choose from URL. Paste the URL into the dialogue box.

    And untick the Retrieve remote file and reference locally
    (ticking it often generates problem as it seems the engine
    can't retrieve the image).

    Some hosting websites have more than one URL to choose.
    Try them to see which one works best (usually it's the direct one).
    With a little trial and error using Preview Post. You will success. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Sorry, having just realised that image I used in the post above is from imageshack
    which changes their policy recently.

    You have to be their subscriber and stay log-in unless you will see the frog icon
    instead of the proper picture.

    So mine seems not a good example. Try looking at Tom's posts with pic instead.

    Actually, the image hosting process in this website should have been easier to use.
    Currently it's very confusing.
     
  19. Aquaholic

    Aquaholic Junior Poster

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    Hole in the head???

    Thank you for your prompt replies.
    Here goes my attempt...

    Please note that the particles in the water are from the medication that i just introduced to the tank to hopefully cure my Discus, if in fact they do have "Hole in the head" disease.

    Medicate 45gal Tank:
    [​IMG]

    Driftwood Hideout:
    [​IMG]


    1.5inch Discus with spots on head: (Closest fish isnt eating)
    [​IMG]

    1.5inch Discus: (eating well)
    [​IMG]

    2.5inch Discus with spots on head:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Aquaholic

    Aquaholic Junior Poster

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    Tom,
    Thank you for the reply, but I'm not sure it pertains to my concern ("If the cause for small size is hormones...")

    Did you mean to say small spots?

    What do you guys think about me medicating the discuss? Should I continue?

    After seeing pics, Do you think they have Hole in the head?

    Anything wrong with my setup? (BTW, tank is tall approx. 36x12x24)
     
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